DEMON DAZZLES ON ROD LAVER ARENA



Photograph: Mark Metcalfe

Alex de Minaur has claimed his first win on Rod Laver Arena, defeating Pole Kamil Majchrzak 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday afternoon.


In what ended up being a comprehensive victory, de Minaur was rarely challenged by the Pole who impressed at the ATP Cup a fortnight ago.


"Look, a very solid win. Came out, did everything I needed to do. Got the job done. Very happy with my effort," de Minaur said in his press conference.


"You know, it always feels good to get my first win on Rod Laver. It's a special feeling."


Being Australia's highest-ranked male player comes with certain pressures, especially when playing at home. However, the young Sydneysider thrives off the energy that a home crowd brings him, which was definitely the case today.


"I think I just thrive from being here at home. It's always a special feeling, and no matter what year, I always play well here. I always play well at home in front of my home fans. I get fired up," de Minaur said.


"So it's a great time of the year for me, which I'm always looking forward to, and I just think, look, the more people that I get watching my matches, the more excited I get. That's generally how I feel.


"Instead of looking at it as pressure to perform, I see it as, you know, another chance to play in front of my home fans and doing what I love. How could I ever complain about that?"


The Aussie saved all three break points he faced in the opening set and converted on the sole break point opportunity he was presented with to go on and claim the first set 6-4. He dropped just two points on his first serve and sent down five aces in an impressive serving display.


The second set was very much similar to the first. Once again de Minaur only had one break point opportunity, but it was all that he needed to move two sets to one up, taking the second set - like the first - 6-4.


The third set, like the first two, saw de Minaur rarely challenged and this one was even more comprehensive, the Aussie breaking twice to take it 6-2.


De Minaur finished with 11 aces and won 85% of points on his first serve to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.


The Aussie looked right at home on Rod Laver Arena; a court he hopes to play on much more in the future.


"Yeah, look, it's a special feeling. You know, biggest court in Australia, home slam. The last match I played there was against Rafa a couple years back, and that was a surreal experience, as well," de Minaur added.


"For me to be able to play on that court and, you know, at this stage be on my own merits, it's not because I'm playing one of the top guys, that's a pretty cool feeling and to get my first win, so hopefully it's the first of many."


If he keeps playing the way he is then he'll have no problem getting another Rod Laver Arena session this summer.


Next up de Minaur faces Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar.